AS the curtain descends on what was arguably one of the most eventful years of the last decade for Lesotho entertainment news, we take a look at the year’s highlights.
If you’re not a regular reader of this paper, and to be more precise, The Weekender section, you could be under the impression the year was not worth remembering. If you were not keeping up then you might have missed out because this year has shown us that if we put our hearts and souls into our entertainment industry only the sky would the limit.
The year 2019 has been a monumental one for other countries such as South Africa, but Basotho also have nuggets of victories worth noting and celebrating for. Some may be hard to remember because they are embedded in tonnes of rock and dirt that are the bane of our nation’s politics.
But let’s just take a moment to celebrate our little achievements and put a little pat on our backs. Our entertainment industry, although still in its infancy, has made major strides this year. Let’s go down memory lane and look at the headlines and stories that captivated us, and got us buzzing and tweeting.
While I’m tempted to make mention of the moments that unintentionally entertained us — like the infamous forgotten written speech, or the brawl in parliament, or even the surprise and much viral clip of the prime minister and the first lady singing duet – this is article is dedicated to the real heroes of the local entertainment industry and their achievements.
The viral video, in which our prime minister and first lady are singing ‘Rea o kop area lla’, one cannot deny that this year was a good one in the music industry…and what better way to end the year if it wasn’t for this number one hit song that lasted for only two days on the top spot.
The year also exposed the government that if it does the right thing and invest into the local music industry then this country can go very far.
Let’s recap and look at people like rapper Megahertz who recently left people going crazy over his tease video which went so viral that even South African musicians commended him for his authenticity and talent.
It’s an undeniable fact that people like Megahertz can take this country very far in terms of music but it is very sad that this local artist might have to leave the county just so he could make progress in what he does best because he knows being a musician in Lesotho would not yield not yield much for him.
Personally I think Megahertz was this year’s highlight in the music industry. He has taken people by storm with most of his verses in songs such as Khoto where he was featured by Juvy, as well as Ak’u Ikhants’e featuring Unkle Krack, the Sesotho Fashioneng album teaser, as well as Communicate and many other tracks
Speaking of Unkle Krack, let’s just admit that the kid is up to something. If he keeps up with his determination in the music industry and we can agree to disagree that Lesotho has its own AKA though him.
After releasing two hot singles earlier this year, he then treated his fans to another new single called Actions Loud later in the year.
It’s no doubt that his two singles All the time and PSA Freestyle took his fans by storm, judging from all the noises done about the song on social media, hence fans are abuzz about his work.
It was also through this artist that we learned this year that having a strong team behind you can do wonders for an artist and that is why we need to start investing in their craft.
Despite being fairly new in the music industry, Krack has posted some really good quality music videos and this says a lot about the people he chooses to work with. He has also shown that one’s image as an artist does count as he always looks dapper and the quality of his work is out of this world.
On the other hand another milestone was achieved when the Ichu hit maker Malome Vector was signed by the South African record label Ambitiouz Entertainment. This was actually a good thing and even big! Question is; how many other artists must leave the country to start making a living off their talent before Lesotho realises that it can actually grow its economy though music?
In the latest Business Inside South Africa publication, prominent South African DJ and producer, Das Kapital, says SA artists earn about $3,800 (roughly M52,000) per million plays on Spotify and $7,800 (roughly M108,000) per million plays on Apple Music. This boils down to roughly $0.0038 (5c) per stream on Spotify, and $0.0078 (0.11c) per stream on Apple Music.
How long will it take Lesotho to finally realise that artists can actually make a living out of their craft if it’s invested in? Well, people like Sir Sechaba have started making things easier for local artists and the music buying public with the newly launched online music shop called YME Tunes so that artists can start making money from their music through this platform. However, it will take more than that to start seeing progress in local online music sales. The Lesotho government needs to start investing in the arts because Lesotho is full of talent, ranging from music to poetry and acting.
It is impossible to recap on this year’s entertainment journey and leave out the controversial Vodacom Step Up that left people complaining that the music competition awarded the most popular and not the most talented artist.
Agreed, Vodacom Step Up was the first of its kind in Lesotho, but do sms votes really determine how talented one is? Ok maybe this was the local Idols mimic show, but we are not South Africa…we are a country of two million people where not everyone has a TV set. This means that not everyone was able watch to support the most talented and judge for themselves.
Even if all of us were all able to watch the TV show, not everyone was going to be able to vote. At least not in this poor economy where the rich stay richer and the poor get poorer. Correct me if am wrong, but as long as that competition continues, only well-off and well-known competitors will win and the most talented will lose out.
On the other hand, the film industry has also been beaming with film festivals and filmmakers being recognised outside the country.
With films such as This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese that will have its international premiere at Sundance next month we surely have something to hope for. The movies was shot in Lesotho and has a few of the finest local actors.
Another local film Molisana was also nominated for an award at the 2020 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival in Texas, USA, and all these achievements show that Lesotho is a country pregnant with talent.
Despite the ups and downs brought by this year’s entertainment industry, there were a lot of achievements. Let’s all hope and pray for a fruitful 2020 because many artists have proven that they are willing and ready to work as long as there is money injected into the industry.